PREVIOUS QUESTION:

 

NEXT QUESTION:

 

How can you tell a panic attack from high anxiety?

ANSWER

It can be tricky to tell the two apart. A true panic attack tends to have clear, intense, physical symptoms -- a pounding heart, shortness of breath, and so on.

Anxiety can give you some of these, but they tend to be milder. Instead, you'll have more mental symptoms like a racing mind, lots of worries you can't stop, and a hard time focusing. You might also feel restless and have a hard time sleeping. A single panic attack may leave you feeling anxious, tired, and frayed.

SOURCES:

HelpGuide.org: "Panic Attack and Panic Disorder."

American Psychological Association: "Answers to Your Questions about Panic Disorder."

This Way Up: "Panicked."

Paul Nestadt, MD, supervising psychiatrist, Johns Hopkins Hospital Anxiety Disorders Clinic, Johns Hopkins Medical Institution.

University of Pennsylvania, Perelman School of Medicine: "Panic Disorder."

Anxiety and Depression Society of America: "Generalized Anxiety Disorder."

American Cancer Society: "Anxiety, Fear, and Depression."

FamilyDoctor.org: "Panic Disorder."

Anxiety and Depression Association of America: "Am I having a panic attack or a heart attack?"

Reviewed by Smitha Bhandari on June 12, 2017

SOURCES:

HelpGuide.org: "Panic Attack and Panic Disorder."

American Psychological Association: "Answers to Your Questions about Panic Disorder."

This Way Up: "Panicked."

Paul Nestadt, MD, supervising psychiatrist, Johns Hopkins Hospital Anxiety Disorders Clinic, Johns Hopkins Medical Institution.

University of Pennsylvania, Perelman School of Medicine: "Panic Disorder."

Anxiety and Depression Society of America: "Generalized Anxiety Disorder."

American Cancer Society: "Anxiety, Fear, and Depression."

FamilyDoctor.org: "Panic Disorder."

Anxiety and Depression Association of America: "Am I having a panic attack or a heart attack?"

Reviewed by Smitha Bhandari on June 12, 2017

NEXT QUESTION:

What health conditions are linked to panic attacks?

WAS THIS ANSWER HELPFUL

THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

    This tool does not provide medical advice. See additional information.

    Other Answers On: